Alfredo Tjiurimo Hengari is encouraging his country’s political leaders to start using New Media and technology, in Namibia: Youtube, E-Mail, Skype And MPs.
Hengari points out that it is easy for leaders to talk about the importance of technology, even if they have no knowledge of it. If leaders actually use wikis, blogs, and even email they will better understand what they are promoting!
“Certainly, access and the use of these new technologies which compress time and space, provide opportunities for us in the developing world to consume more information and communicate in ways that are cheaper.
“And when we consume more information we are likely to create new knowledge.”
Creating new knowledge is called Innovation, and it’s crucial to our economies. By introducing more people to the new world of information tools, you are helping to drive local innovation. By using these tools yourself, you are boosting your own capacity for innovation.
Trust me that this is not just an issue in Namibia. It’s true is many rural areas. How are the political leaders in your city, county and state doing? Oklahoma’s state lawmakers finally have laptops, but I haven’t seen any blogs, wikis, or podcasts.
“As it appears, access is just one part of the problem, ignorance is another,” Hengari said.
And it’s more than just our political leaders. How are your local educators, business people and clergy doing?
Together, you and I will keep campaigning for greater broadband access and keep introducing more people to wikis, blogs, and all the wondrous tools now available to us. That’s one way we can help develop innovation and our local economies.
I just put in a proposal to the Business and Professional Women/USA to present a session on blogging and podcasting at the next annual conference. And right now, I’m trying to convince my Alumni Association to include some interactive tools in our next website update. These are just a couple of ways I’m trying to involve new people with new media.
What are you doing now, and what do you plan to do? Let’s share our ideas.
[Photo: Oklahoma lawmakers using laptop computers on the floor of the State House of Representatives.]
Update: Comments from Readers
Roger von Oech said…
My first visit to your site. Interesting point of view.
Welcome, Roger, and thanks for taking time to comment. I’m honored!
This is related to your book vs. Twitter debate. I think exposure to new viewpoints and ideas through technology, even in little Twitter bites, can be helpful in broadening our horizons.
Let me clarify one point.
This is NOT encouragement for the already-connected technical people to consume ever more increasing amounts of information.
This IS encouragement for non-connected folks to get connected with relevant types of new information technology.
HOW do you do this Becky. Some people are hopelessly tech deficient. How can they be helped?
Ramon, excellent question! Here’s an approach I have used with some success.
Tie in to their passion. First, find out their real world interests. Then show them how to use the tech tools to enjoy it more, especially by interacting with others.
Online forums and auctions can be excellent tools to make that introduction. For example, my husband (a thoroughly non-technical person) enjoys reading the shooting sports forums. If a famous name author in their subject is online, that can help draw them in, also.
On a related note, it matters who is doing the teaching! Some people are great at gently instructing the non-technical, and some are not. It takes a specific approach with tons of patience, repetition, and the use of non-technical examples.
You took a good point. Nowadays is more interesting getting people’s Skype, Google Talk and so on, than saying your telephone. ‘Cause the comunication is more effective and can be done anytime.
But, more important than all these Instant Messaging, IMHO are the Wikis, where we can exchange all kind of knowledge and they are there, forever. And not talking only about companies, but schools, universities, communities, and even for your house.
By the way, very thanks for talking about me in earlier articles! I will soon write an article in my blog (in English and Portuguese), and yoy say about you and other english blogs.
Alfred, great to hear from you again. I agree that wikis are highly important tools for sharing knowledge. I think they can play a huge role in innovation.
I’m glad to have your global perspective on this.
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